What are your thoughts on the RTA 15TL Speakers?

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Hello all,

A little background before we begin. I always liked the sound of older Polk speakers from when I was in high school (the 90's). Choosing teaching as a career choice, I never was able to afford them! However, now that I'm a little more established in life, and now I'm able to find them used at a fraction of new, I recently purchased some monitor 10's, Monitor 5's,monitor 7's, 8t's and 11t's and LSi15's over the last several years. I love listening to the differences that each speaker has to offer and have done many A/B comparisons over the years with all of my speakers. Which brings to to the point of my post... what are your thoughts on the RTA 15TL speakers? How might they compare to the ones I currently have? (Excluding the LSi 15's) Are they worth picking up a set, or would my $ be used better somewhere else?

Thanks in advance!

This is me getting ready for a listen off...
on4rpd356ach.jpg
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Comments

  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,919
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    That is a small room. Keep the Monitor 7's, upgrade their components including the tweeters and get rid of all those other speakers.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • boston1450
    boston1450 Posts: 7,505
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    Love mine. Did all the upgrades 7+ years ago & enjoy them. Have it hooked to a Yamaha CR1000 in a good size room with plenty of room for rear passive & placement. Excellent on vinyl. The stock tweeters are tweeters. Not bad/ But the rdo198's are far better. Never done a side by side with RTA11's but much better than RTA8's IMO.
    ..
  • skrol
    skrol Posts: 3,345
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    You would find the RTA15TL a nice step up form the RTA11T. They are a little more finicky with placement having the rear firing PR. They have the vintage Polk sound which is different form the later speakers like the LSi15.

    I have the RTA11TL (with mods), which is an improvement to the RTA11T, and I have the LSi15. I really like the mids, highs and imaging of the LSi15 but the RTA11TL has it in the bass and has the more classic Polk tember. Bottom line, they have different presentations and there things that I like about both. I got the LSi15 with the intent to replace the RTA11TL but I haven't been able to part with them. The RTA15TL improves on the RTA11TL if they can be placed and powered properly. The same can be said for the LSi15 in regards to proper placement and power.

    I kind of agree with what F1nut said. You could thin the herd. For example, I really didn't like the RTA8TL compared to the RTA11TL. Unless you really like the RTA8T, they would be first on my list to go. I've not been a Klipsch fan, though I haven't heard them all. If you get the RTA15TL I don't see much need for the RTA11T. But perhaps it isn't about need and you just like to collect and swap in and out like many of us here. I certainly have many more than I need.
    Enjoy
    Stan

    Main 2ch:
    Polk LSi15 (DB840 upgrade), Parasound: P/LD-1100, HCA-1000A; Denon: DVD-2910, DRM-800A; Benchmark DAC1, Monster HTS3600-MKII, Grado SR-225i; Technics SL-J2, Parasound PPH-100.

    HT:
    Marantz SR7010, Polk: RTA11TL (RDO198-1, XO and Damping Upgrades), S4, CS250, PSW110 , Marantz UD5005, Pioneer PL-530, Panasonic TC-P42S60

    Other stuff:
    Denon: DRA-835R, AVR-888, DCD-660, DRM-700A, DRR-780; Polk: S8, Monitor 5A, 5B, TSi100, RM7, PSW10 (DXi104 upgrade); Pioneer: CT-6R; Onkyo CP-1046F; Ortofon OM5E, Marantz: PM5004, CD5004, CDR-615; Parasound C/PT-600, HCA-800ii, Sony CDP-650ESD, Technics SA 5070, B&W DM601
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
    edited August 2023
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    Well, I’m not gonna tell ya not to, but … dem big 15s do need some room to breathe.

    If you’ve never done the full complement of proven upgrades to any of the vintage Polks you already have (and I see a lot of OE tweeters in the pic), I think your money would be better spent doing that to whichever ones are your current favorites.

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • IteachSTEM
    Options
    bcwsrt wrote: »
    I think your money would be better spent doing that to whichever ones are your current favorites.


    That's what I was thinking as well. The monitor 8's are currently serving as garage duty speakers, the monitor 11t's are currently taking up space in my closet and the monitor 7's, my favorite sounding of the group, just got booted from bedroom duty by a pair of LSi15's.

    I'm going to sell the 11's and perhaps use that money to upgrade the tweeters on the 7's. I need to do a little more reading, as I know people use the RD-0194's, but I am not opposed to finding something as good or better to my ears than the RD-0194. Any thoughts?

    I'm also toying with the idea of using an active crossover... although that may just open a bag-o-worms!
  • Toolfan66
    Toolfan66 Posts: 16,982
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    What are your thoughts on the RTA 15TL Speakers?






    Great speakers for spare drivers..
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
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    Ouch!

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,467
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    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    What are your thoughts on the RTA 15TL Speakers?






    Great speakers for spare drivers..

    I wouldn't even use them in my garage. They're pretty though.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
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    Brutal. I knew I should’ve had a bonfire with mine.

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,681
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    bcwsrt wrote: »
    Brutal. I knew I should’ve had a bonfire with mine.

    🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
  • Toolfan66
    Toolfan66 Posts: 16,982
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    audioluvr wrote: »
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    What are your thoughts on the RTA 15TL Speakers?






    Great speakers for spare drivers..

    I wouldn't even use them in my garage. They're pretty though.

    I always thought they were one of the better looking speakers Polk made..
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
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    IteachSTEM wrote: »
    bcwsrt wrote: »
    I think your money would be better spent doing that to whichever ones are your current favorites.


    That's what I was thinking as well. The monitor 8's are currently serving as garage duty speakers, the monitor 11t's are currently taking up space in my closet and the monitor 7's, my favorite sounding of the group, just got booted from bedroom duty by a pair of LSi15's.

    I'm going to sell the 11's and perhaps use that money to upgrade the tweeters on the 7's. I need to do a little more reading, as I know people use the RD-0194's, but I am not opposed to finding something as good or better to my ears than the RD-0194. Any thoughts?

    I'm also toying with the idea of using an active crossover... although that may just open a bag-o-worms!

    Probably need a separate thread to get a good answer on your tweeter question and let the smackdown of the gorgeous, but otherwise craptastic, parts bin/firewood 15s continue on unencumbered in this one.

    Nasty 15s!

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 4,764
    edited August 2023
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    Question: In that room, do you prefer the tweeter height of the 7's or the 11's?
    For me, that would help determine to move forward with the 15's or not.
    Very nice collection, minus the Klipsch of course.🙂

    Anecdotally, you have 3 versions of classic Polks with their worst tweeter to judge by.
    Don't take experimental gene therapies from known eugenicists.
  • boston1450
    boston1450 Posts: 7,505
    edited August 2023
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    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers
    ..
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,467
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    boston1450 wrote: »
    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers

    I picked up a nice pair of 11t's and modded them in hopes of using them in my home theater. They still sucked so I test drove some 15's but they weren't any better so I abandoned the whole idea.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 4,764
    edited August 2023
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    audioluvr wrote: »
    boston1450 wrote: »
    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers

    I picked up a nice pair of 11t's and modded them in hopes of using them in my home theater. They still sucked so I test drove some 15's but they weren't any better so I abandoned the whole idea.

    I bet the 15TLs modded and you may have held onto them?

    @audiohatr
    Don't take experimental gene therapies from known eugenicists.
  • Toolfan66
    Toolfan66 Posts: 16,982
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    xschop wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    boston1450 wrote: »
    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers

    I picked up a nice pair of 11t's and modded them in hopes of using them in my home theater. They still sucked so I test drove some 15's but they weren't any better so I abandoned the whole idea.

    I bet the 15TLs modded and you may have held onto them?

    @audiohatr

    I thought about that when I had them, and it just didn't seem like I would gain much since I had my SDA's and the RTiA9 (complete set-up) in my HT.

    I also had owned the 11t's as well, hated them too, both sets were gutted, and scrapped, I still own the drivers to this day. For the record neither set was minty..

  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,467
    Options
    xschop wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    boston1450 wrote: »
    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers

    I picked up a nice pair of 11t's and modded them in hopes of using them in my home theater. They still sucked so I test drove some 15's but they weren't any better so I abandoned the whole idea.

    I bet the 15TLs modded and you may have held onto them?

    @audiohatr

    Lighten up Francis. Just because I didn't like them doesn't mean everyone will.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • boston1450
    boston1450 Posts: 7,505
    Options
    audioluvr wrote: »
    boston1450 wrote: »
    @audioluvr have you ever owned or listened to them. I understand there are better speakers

    I picked up a nice pair of 11t's and modded them in hopes of using them in my home theater. They still sucked so I test drove some 15's but they weren't any better so I abandoned the whole idea.
    Everyone's ears are different. That's the good thing about Polk having such a variety
    ..
  • billbillw
    billbillw Posts: 6,254
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    Not a fan of multiple passive radiators (w/different tuned frequency). I had a pair of RTA11T and I found their bass response was not very smooth (ie: peaky). I can't imagine the 15s are better in that respect. There is a reason the SRS and other SDA models only had one PR.
    For rig details, see my profile. Nothing here anymore...
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
    edited August 2023
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    Without going into a lot of detail, I always thought mine were “off” since new, but once I got a better amp behind them, a lot of that went away. Now, with the updates and upgrades, they’re beyond what I thought they could ever be.

    I’m pretty sure I’ll get the itch to do something different at some point, but for now, couldn’t be happier with them, realizing they do have inherent flaws like the rear passive. All that being said, I don’t have the other points of reference that a lot of guys here do. Monitor 10Bs are the only other respectable speakers I’ve ever owned. AXPONA 2023 was a major eye (ear?)-opener for me on how the industry and hobby has progressed, as well as seeing what several people are into here on the site.

    Take my bonfire and other comments above with a grain of salt. I was actually glad to see this thread and wondered what the comments would be about them. My own money was probably better spent elsewhere, but it was fun and rewarding to see what could be done with them, especially having them since new.

    And they ARE pretty!

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,681
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    I concur with the above statements.
    Brian has a very nice listening room for his. They excel in that space.
  • Viking64
    Viking64 Posts: 6,734
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    I have no idea what is going on, so here is a brown karate dog riding the subway in Kamloops after messing around with a can of white paint that was stolen from Mister Green Jeans last October.

    a6703693q2c8.jpg
  • boston1450
    boston1450 Posts: 7,505
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    I really did want to hit the like button. Are you drinking
    ..
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,481
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    Drugs are bad, MKaaaaay....

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,681
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    Nice looking dog......
  • chrispyfur
    chrispyfur Posts: 170
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    You guys see the story about the giraffe born with no spots?
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,681
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  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,651
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    And then what happened?

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • chrispyfur
    chrispyfur Posts: 170
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    Sorry, I thought we were all just joking around here.